Episode 013 — Poltergeist
Mike Gower chats with us about the making of Poltergeist, and we learn how to make ectoplasmic goo and body-sausage water guns.
Listen now for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine — the journal of cinematic illusions.
Start your year out right with a 10-day free trial to the learning videos on Lynda.com/optical
VFX & Special Effects
How the ILM Masters Used to Create VFX for Movies
Back before VFX became a computer-only affair (for the most part), creating post effects required dealing with lots of physical elements. You might already be very familiar with some of these tools and processes (some of them are still in use today), but it’s fascinating what we take for granted these days, especially since some effects took an unbelievable amount of trial and error and experimenting.
A fun collection of YouTube videos and other making-of resources for old-school optical printing, miniatures and matte paintings.
“Apes” Makeup Man John Chambers May Have Made Suit for Famous Bigfoot Footage
In Cinefex 71, an article about John Chambers — makeup creator for the original Planet of the Apes — contains a surprising revelation from filmmaker John Landis: “I know a secret that only six people know…”
Eric Lyman, CG modeler and technical artist, writes a bit of a eulogy for PDI/DreamWorks Redwood:
PDI has been around for a long time, much longer than Dreamworks has been. Founded in 1980, it was one of the early outposts in the CG world alongside other pioneering houses such as Pixar and ILM. By 1982 they had begun actual production work with 3d graphics- mostly in the form of flying 3d logos. You can imagine how cool it was back then.
Cinefex’s Don Shay says goodbye after 35 years
In fxpodcast #288, Cinefex creator Don Shay — who joined us on Episode 008 to talk about the life of stop-motion pioneer Willis O'Brien — announces his retirement, and his son, Gregg Shay, takes the reigns. Mike Seymour has a lovely chat with Don that I highly encourage you to give a listen.
I can’t begin to tell you how much joy Cinefex has given me over the years, and how much I appreciate all of the hard work Don put into it. It’s an amazing resource. On a personal level, Don has also been very supportive of The Optical podcast, and I must admit I certainly wouldn’t have so much to go on, looking back at these older VFX films, if it weren’t for him. I owe Don a great deal.